Probably most of us have questioned why we have done a few things in the past. Maybe it was breaking up or gaining weight or quitting a job or acting grumpy.
1) What if all you needed to do to find a partner or a job or anything that mattered was a clear awareness of who you are and who you want to be? No promises from anybody, but the concept makes a lot of sense to me. I've been reading several books the past months that make me gravitate toward 1) awareness of my and others' needs, 2) self-acceptance, and 3) living in the moment as my top nominees for having what I want in life. The books I'm thinking of are Tolle's The Power of Now, Walsch's Friendship with God, Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication, Levey's Living in Balance and Leonard's The Portable Coach. I use quotes from Tolle and Walsch and some self-exploration to discover who I am (based on past self-awareness) and who I want to be (which I can act on now). By the way, if you’d like to read the several pages of quotes I put together from two of the books, just email firstname.lastname@example.org, and put The Power of Now and/or Friendship with God in the subject line and I’ll send it as a Word document.
When I had a potluck and discussion last March on The Power of Now, and a month later on Friendship with God, I was delighted to hear how 10-15 people reacted to the quotes from the books. Even going around and asking what each person thought or felt about the idea of a friendship with God was interesting, if not inspiring. One of the participants said his favorite words were from Walsch’s Conversations with God Book 1: “Who am I? Who do I want to be?” His take on that was that in any given situation, what we say or do is an act of defining ourselves. When we make a choice to stay in bed after the alarm, we are characterizing ourselves as a person for whom comfort and ease are a priority. If we get up when the alarm goes off, we are declaring ourselves as people for whom intentions and goals and self-discipline matter.
As a single, if we avoid efforts that are perhaps difficult (placing an ad, calling to ask for a date, inviting someone to dance), we are, in effect, describing ourselves as someone who fears taking risks or facing rejection. When we take the actions that could lead to a romantic relationship, we are showing ourselves as persons who have the courage of our convictions, who believe in ourselves, and who are committed to what makes us more alive.
Some of my acts of self-definition this past year:
Note, these are not affirmations, simply statements of self-awareness.
--I am a person who has a hard time resisting the specials in a grocery store, even if I’d ordinarily not buy the items. (I’d prefer to have said that I’m a person who only buys what I need when I need it.)
--I am a person who, to keep my agreements, is willing to walk 15 min. to make another connection when I miss a bus.
--I am a person who likes Big Bang on Thursday night so much that I’m willing to stay up later to finish this article and email it in.